How Long Has Gibson Chambered Les Paul Customs and Why?

80smetalhead

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I was just about to pull the trigger for a new LP Custom when I read in the description that it had “Strategically Placed Chambers”. That made me pause...I didn’t know that LP Customs were chambered rather than being solid or 9 hole weight relieved.

When and why did this start? Chambered guitars sound too “airy” to me and not as beefy as a non weight relieved one. And the fact that this is done to a LP Custom seems weird since it is based on the mid-50’s LP Customs.

So what’s up here?

Here’s the link on ZZounds...look under the “Still State Of Art” section. Interestingly enough they didn’t feel it was necessary to add what type of weight relief this guitar has to the Spec section:

www.zzounds.com

Gibson Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar
Now made in Gibson's Custom division. 490R and 498T pickups. Pearl block inlay.
www.zzounds.com
www.zzounds.com

So were the Les Paul Customs used by heavy metal and hair metal bands in the ‘80’sl built this way?
 

Oranjeaap

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It Gibsons method to use woods that would otherwise be too heavy to make a Les Paul.
 

mudface

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You’d just think they might throw BurstBuckers into what’s essentially their premium production model, y’know?
The 490 series are Gibson's high output pickups.... way more aggressive than Custombuckers or Burstbuckers which are vintage med to low output.

The only pup Gibson makes with higher output than 490s is the 500t ceramic...... it's why the Les Paul Custom is favored by metal players.

There is nothing about the 490 series pups that make them lesser than BBs or CBs.
 

80smetalhead

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Thanks for the insight! Feel free to add any additional comments and facts. Funny that they have used that wording to position 9 hole relief. As a Marketing exec I shouldn’t be surprised lol
 

1all's Pub

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The 490/498 set is a great hard rock/metal combo. IMO, they are as good as (or better) than any of the comparable aftermarket high output options.

As for chambering LPCs... nah, as Tim said, that’s just marketing-speak for good old fashioned 9-hole weight relief.
 

AJK1

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I was just about to pull the trigger for a new LP Custom when I read in the description that it had “Strategically Placed Chambers”. That made me pause...I didn’t know that LP Customs were chambered rather than being solid or 9 hole weight relieved.

When and why did this start? Chambered guitars sound too “airy” to me and not as beefy as a non weight relieved one. And the fact that this is done to a LP Custom seems weird since it is based on the mid-50’s LP Customs.

So what’s up here?

Here’s the link on ZZounds...look under the “Still State Of Art” section. Interestingly enough they didn’t feel it was necessary to add what type of weight relief this guitar has to the Spec section:

www.zzounds.com

Gibson Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar
Now made in Gibson's Custom division. 490R and 498T pickups. Pearl block inlay.
www.zzounds.com
www.zzounds.com

So were the Les Paul Customs used by heavy metal and hair metal bands in the ‘80’sl built this way?
I’m just about to buy a new White one and I’m glad it’s weight relieved
Lighter guitars sound better to me
 

mjross

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Weight relief, really! My Custom does not feel like it has weight relief.
 

mudface

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The wood has been traditionally denser on Customs.... denser means heavier..... 9 hole weight relief Custom is still in the average 10 lb range.

My 1977 BB Les Paul Custom has no weight relief is just under 9 lbs by a gram or two..... that’s light for a Norlin.

2EE66C70-A987-409B-B301-E92316E2ABC3.jpeg


My 1978 Cherry Sunburst Custom is 12.5 lbs .... not weight relieved.

E2B60290-06DD-4D7A-B753-060763375C5C.jpeg


My 2011 BB Custom is weight relieved with the 9 hole pattern Custom Shop made is 11.5 lbs

8541D1FB-CCDB-4E41-9B4A-502591E546A1.jpeg


All are fantastic guitars but are unique from each other in tone but similar in great sustain. Denser mahogany and dense ebony fretboard adds to a snappy clear bell like sustain..... at least to my ears and experience with these examples I own.

914D417B-39A7-4CF1-8162-48AFED30ABD5.jpeg


19CDB83E-6399-4A44-913C-BC3B56B6F1F2.jpeg


D39909D3-E29C-4858-8E6E-6224EB9E2D7A.jpeg


AA794A90-9268-4A4A-9E17-CDAF33976048.jpeg


To answer the OP’s question.....kind of anyway.....is the 9 hole weight relief started roughly around 1982..... all Les Paul models with a maple cap would have the 9 hole relief including the Custom from that point (unless chambered or modern relieved) until 2013 when the Traditional was produced as non- weight relief.... and other LP models would follow.

Of course Custom Shop Historics would produce reissues without weight relief starting in 1993. Though all pre- Historics did have weight relief. Only Historic Les Paul reissue Customs (like the ‘57 and ‘68) would have solid no relief bodies.
 
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80smetalhead

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I’m just about to buy a new White one and I’m glad it’s weight relieved
Lighter guitars sound better to me
Totally ok if you prefer the chambered sound. Just not my cup of tea. Grew up listening to a lot of non weight relieved Les Pauls and how beefy they sounded so I guess that tone is what’s stuck in my head lol
 

AJK1

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Well I got this yesterday and it is as big and ballsy as any guitar I’ve ever played or owned weight relieved or not
I’m glad it’s a little lighter, it’s great acoustically as well
Win win
 


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